Our Physical Therapist at CCS modified a Kettler Kettrike Oceana for our dwarf child. We’ve received multiple requests for details on how this modification was performed, so below are some pictures to assist with doing the same for your child. Our son has a 9″ inseam and is on the 3rd percentile (height for weight) on the Achondroplasia Growth Chart. So as you can see, even with the smallest of LP children, you can modify this store bought bike without welding or major modifications.
In addition to the tricycle, our therapist also used a set of foot cups and pedal blocks. These attach onto the existing Kettler pedals and have velcro straps to help keep your child’s feet in place. They are removable when no longer needed. One place to buy these is Amtryke as they make customized Kettler bikes for children with special needs.
Pictures of Modifications
The seat was moved forward as far as possible. There is a part called the front frame plug that you can remove, giving it an extra 2″. Once you remove this plug, you put the adjustment sleeve (yellow) onto the frame as directed and VERY TIGHTLY screw the release knob (black).
The foot cups were attached onto the pedal. No drilling required. With a piece of high density cardboard to provide some extra reach while being light enough to not weigh it down, this gave our son the extra inches he needed to reach the pedals. The velcro straps were added to secure the foot while pedaling. The string you see is to help the pedals stay upward. This alleviates the frustration of the pedals always turning downward from the weight.
A piece of string was attached to the footcups and wrapped around the frame to help the footcups face straight up. The string can be removed later along with the footcups. One great thing also about Kettler bikes is that it has a locking mechanism for the handlebars (handlebar limiter). This allows the adult to help push the child (with the pushbar) until they are more adept at steering straight. As an LP mom, I loved how I could even adapt the pushbar by removing the lower part bar so that it’s at my height.
As you can see all of these modifications are temporary and you can remove them once your child gains height and becomes more coordinated with their feet.
While this modification used the Kettler Oceana, most likely you can use any of the Kettler tricycles. We have friends who recently purchased the Schwinn Roadster
for their dwarf son and it fits great with no modifications. Our son is on on the smaller side and tried it out but he needs an inch or two of extra height to reach the pedals. The Schwinn is definitely a lot cheaper than the Kettler so this is another alternative to consider. And it comes in blue, pink